Purdue professor specializing in ‘happiness’ allegedly locked son in dog crate, beat wife

A Purdue University assistant professor who specializes in “positive emotions” and “parental involvement” was arrested…

A Purdue University assistant professor who specializes in “positive emotions” and “parental involvement” was arrested for allegedly beating his wife in front of his 10-year-old son, who was locked in a dog cage. 

Froiland, a clinical assistant professor in education, was arrested last Wednesday in his home in Indiana on preliminary charges of domestic battery, intimidation, interference in reporting a crime, neglect of a dependent and criminal confinement, Purdue student newspaper The Exponent reported

Purdue University professor of psychology John Froiland 

Purdue University professor of psychology John Froiland 
(Purdue University)

Police in West Lafayette, Indiana, said that Froiland confronted his wife at about 4:30 p.m. last Wednesday after his wife returned from a shopping trip. The professor was upset that he did not know where his wife was all day and held her against the wall, his wife told police. 

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He then allegedly put a 10-year-old boy into a dog crate, who the student newspaper later identified as Froiland’s son. He then broke off the leg of a wooden rocking chair and reportedly struck his wife across her arms while the child watched from the dog cage. 

Froiland also allegedly took his wife’s phone so she couldn’t call the police, according to the police. 

West Lafayette - Circa July 2019: Purdue Welcome Center at Purdue University I

West Lafayette – Circa July 2019: Purdue Welcome Center at Purdue University I

Police, however, did ultimately respond to the home. A responding officer reported that the wife’s arms were covered in red and purple welts and bruising, Chief Deputy Terry Ruley told the Exponent. 

Froiland was subsequently arrested and later released on a $500 bond, the outlet reported. School officials announced on Monday that Froiland had been placed on “paid administrative leave” following the alleged domestic battery. 

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Purdue University spokesman Tim Doty did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment regarding how long the professor will be on paid leave. The Exponent did report that he was banned from campus for a year. 

Froiland “studies parental autonomy and relatedness support, parent involvement from preschool to high school, teacher-student relationships, intrinsic motivation to learn, student engagement, happiness, and positive psychology interventions,” according to his Purdue faculty biography

“He has developed an intervention that strengthens autonomy supportive parent-child communication, positive emotions toward learning, and intrinsic motivation to learn among elementary school students,” his bio continued. 

Froiland’s students were also greeted in class this week by a department head of the College of Education to address concerns about the professor and their schedule for the remaining semester. 

“Whatever you’re feeling is normal, and I share all these emotions. If you are willing, describe in one word how you are feeling right now,” Ayse Ciftci told the class. 

Students rattled off that they felt, “irritated,” “angry,” and “disgusted.”

“None of us could possibly have imagined that something like this might have happened,” Ala Samarapungavan, an education professor, added. “If any of us would have seen anything, we would have reported it right away.”

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“He’s worked here for many years. This was not expected,” Helen Patrick, another education professor, said. “Nothing gave us the slightest pause to even wonder.”